Screensaver Causes My computer to Freeze

Questions and Answers : Windows : Screensaver Causes My computer to Freeze
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Gigi

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Message 819420 - Posted: 16 Oct 2008, 21:22:41 UTC
Last modified: 16 Oct 2008, 21:49:18 UTC

My computer freezes if the screensaver is running and I click the mouse or the keyboard - I have to shut the computer off. Help - Any suggestions? I'm running BOINC version 6.2.18 Seti Enhanced.
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Message 819426 - Posted: 16 Oct 2008, 21:34:49 UTC - in response to Message 819420.  

Don't run the screen saver then. :-)

If you want to figure out what is causing it, we do need a lot more information...
Little things like: OS, BOINC version, what is actually running and freezing (Seti Enhanced or Astropulse), DirectX version, video card make and model.
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Message 820163 - Posted: 18 Oct 2008, 13:43:15 UTC - in response to Message 819426.  

I installed version BOINC version 6.2.19 hoping it would solve the frozen screensaver problem but no joy. It occurs on two different Windows XP Prof. SP3 machines with two different video cards running Seti enhanced.
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Lou Broussard

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Message 820634 - Posted: 19 Oct 2008, 20:55:41 UTC

Hello
I am also having the same problem. I have a HP Pavilion dv9000 series with an AMD Turion 64, using Win Vista Ultimate 64. If the computer goes into screensaver, and then when I go to "wake" it up, I have a blank screen.
I have the NVidia GeForce as a vid.
I was having this same problem on my old computer, which ran am older AMD processor, but it had an ATI Radeon graphics card. This is what took me away from running this prog, but I was hoping that this bug was ironed out. Looks like I was wrong.
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Message 820646 - Posted: 19 Oct 2008, 21:21:27 UTC - in response to Message 820634.  

The screen saver bug has been rather elusive and difficult to track down (since the screen saver works fine on some systems but not others with similar configurations).

Hopefully, people are coming to SETI@Home because they like the science and want to contribute their system's power to the cause, so something so minor like a screen saver not working shouldn't be a show-stopper.

I know it is rather irritating since I enjoy looking at the screen saver too, but the screen saver is just eye candy for the project. The real meat is processing the work.
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Profile Gundolf Jahn

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Message 820664 - Posted: 19 Oct 2008, 22:06:26 UTC - in response to Message 820634.  

And if you set the screensaver to "none" or "black screen", your tasks might be getting done faster. :-)

Gruß,
Gundolf
Computer sind nicht alles im Leben. (Kleiner Scherz)

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Profile Eduardo Bicudo Dreyfuss

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Message 823524 - Posted: 26 Oct 2008, 14:57:52 UTC
Last modified: 26 Oct 2008, 15:55:39 UTC

Maybe there is something else, I mean, ANOTHER problem going on simultaneously wich make it "elusive" to find out what is going on since 2 or more different problems show up alternately: my computer is freezing in time intervals between 2 minutes and 6 hours, sometimes even on my face, far before the screen saver goes on - and I don't run the Seti screen saver but only the XP regular starfiled. This freezing problem started in August.

My sugestion is to see if there is any compatibility problem related to Windows updates from August and versions 6.2.18 and later.

My system: Pentium D 3GHz 2+2 Mb cache, 1 Gb Ram (512+512 in dual channel, identicall memo chips) and a brand new GeForce 8600 GT that replaced old 7300 in the last 10 days. I run a fully updated XP and a McAfee online.

The failure: it freezes the screen, mouse, keyboard, stops the processing and doing so the computer goes in the hibernation mode (after the time specified in the Energy Options) BUT NOT COMPLETELY: power keeps on, leds on, fans on but mobo ASUS AllQuiet is still controlling cpu and chassis fan speeds! To wake it up, I hit the reset button and it restart just from Windows wich means that BIOS was already loaded and mobo running. And it's odd it's NOT recording anything in the drwtsn32 file meaning the system did not identified any error.

During this period I faced other problems with videocard, mouse and telephone line, so the investigation is taking long. I already tested all acceleration levels w/o any result. Right now I'm testing if the freezing occurs when Boinc is not running, wich will take several hours to see.

Hoping to have contributed, regards

Eduardo
I'm 100% SETI.
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Message 823545 - Posted: 26 Oct 2008, 16:28:28 UTC - in response to Message 823524.  

Maybe there is something else, I mean, ANOTHER problem going on simultaneously wich make it "elusive" to find out what is going on since 2 or more different problems show up alternately: my computer is freezing in time intervals between 2 minutes and 6 hours, sometimes even on my face, far before the screen saver goes on - and I don't run the Seti screen saver but only the XP regular starfiled. This freezing problem started in August.

My sugestion is to see if there is any compatibility problem related to Windows updates from August and versions 6.2.18 and later.

My system: Pentium D 3GHz 2+2 Mb cache, 1 Gb Ram (512+512 in dual channel, identicall memo chips) and a brand new GeForce 8600 GT that replaced old 7300 in the last 10 days. I run a fully updated XP and a McAfee online.


The problem is that the freezing doesn't occur on identically configured machines. For instance, I have a Pentium D 3GHz (Pentium D 925, dual core w/2MB cache), 2GB of RAM (1GB+1GB in dual channel w/identical chips) and an nVidia GeForce 8600GT with Windows XP SP3 and ESet NOD32 antivirus completely updated and no screen freezes while running the screen saver.

According to the rules of troubleshooting, if it works on one but not the other, chances are that either the one machine isn't working right or there is something else configured on the machine conflicting with BOINC-SETI.

The problem lies with the fact that with the plethora of different configurations (hardware and software), it makes it real hard to test these different configurations for guaranteed compatibility. Add in the fact that there's very limited funds for BOINC (it is not a corporation) and there's only two or three people (not counding plenty of Open Source Volunteers) actually writing the code for BOINC itself, while SETI has only private funding and only three people writing code (with about a dozen volunteers donating their time freely).

In order to properly test code fixes (or all code for that matter), one must recreate the problem and re-run the same scenario to ascertain whether the fix indeed worked as it should.

The failure: it freezes the screen, mouse, keyboard, stops the processing and doing so the computer goes in the hibernation mode (after the time specified in the Energy Options) BUT NOT COMPLETELY: power keeps on, leds on, fans on but mobo ASUS AllQuiet is still controlling cpu and chassis fan speeds! To wake it up, I hit the reset button and it restart just from Windows wich means that BIOS was already loaded and mobo running. And it's odd it's NOT recording anything in the drwtsn32 file meaning the system did not identified any error.


This seems to indicate that the system was successfully put into suspend/hibernate, but the actual video output output was left onscreen and all I/O ports seemed to have been locked out.

Suspend/hibernate seems to act differently on different machines. On some machines, you can move the keyboard/mouse to get your system back (this is usually from a suspend state) while pressing the power button brings your system back from hibernation. If your system was in hibernation instead of suspend, this would explain why you had to press a button. Though it is odd that you had to press the reset button instead of the power button, but that can be configured through Windows.

It could also be that one of the BOINC components is not completely compatible with suspend/hibernate and needs more work. But again, see above for reasons which makes troubleshooting this difficult (i.e. recreating the problem).

During this period I faced other problems with videocard, mouse and telephone line, so the investigation is taking long. I already tested all acceleration levels w/o any result. Right now I'm testing if the freezing occurs when Boinc is not running, wich will take several hours to see.

Hoping to have contributed, regards

Eduardo
I'm 100% SETI.


It would be interesting to find the result of your test. If you are still experiencing freezes, that would indicate that your system is unstable. If it doesn't it could simply be attributed to insufficient cooling and/or incompatible devices/device drivers to operate correctly in suspend/standby/hibernate modes.

Since I'm an avid BOINC user myself, I don't use suspend/standby/hibernate on any of my machines and I don't issues with the screen saver or science apps (with the exception of my 8 core machine, but I have reason to believe that problem is completely different from what is going on here).
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Message 823685 - Posted: 26 Oct 2008, 23:23:02 UTC

I'm now 8 hours w/o BOINC and no freezing problems so far (except that I want to run SETI). I'll keep running this way until tomorrow night (27) and if it goes still stable, them I'll try to run older BOINC releases, 5.10.45 and maybe 5.8.16 (the more stable I've run).
I'll report my findings in this thread next week-end. Sorry, but not much time on week days.

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Message 824884 - Posted: 30 Oct 2008, 11:30:22 UTC

screen saver and/or show graphics causes reboot and thumping of the HHD
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Message 824990 - Posted: 30 Oct 2008, 19:51:54 UTC - in response to Message 824884.  

screen saver and/or show graphics causes reboot and thumping of the HHD


Sounds like a corrupt video driver, or one that doesn't support OpenGL properly.
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Message 829081 - Posted: 10 Nov 2008, 21:56:17 UTC

OzzFan is correct. The problem is the driver for the graphics card.

I have a new custom-built computer running 64-bit Vista Home Premium, an Intel 9550 quad-core CPU overclocked to 3.0 Ghz, 8 Gb of RAM, two 500 Gb hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration, and an EVGA NVIDIA GeForce 260 FTW Edition graphics card. (The "FTW Edition" version of the 260 is a graphics card that has been heavily overclocked by EVGA to give the card performance similar to an NVIDIA 280 card.)

Not only had I been experiencing computer freezes when running the SETI screensaver via BOINC, quite by accident, I found that my computer would freeze during the running of a movie via a stream from Hulu.

I had tried a number of potential fixes...including using the NVIDIA Control Panel to set my EVGA NVIDIA graphics software to override all graphics settings by application programs. None of the potential fixes worked.

Then I went to the "Problem Reports and Solutions" facility that is available via Vista's Control Panel. Within "Problem Reports and Solutions," I clicked on "Check for new solutions." I found that a graphics card driver, released in October, was available from NVIDIA. I was quite surprised to see this solution. Earlier, I had downloaded and installed a graphics card driver, released in September, from EVGA. I thought that I had the latest graphics card driver after doing that download and install, but it seems that I must also check for drivers from NVIDIA as well as from EVGA.

So my suggestion is to check everywhere you can for the latest driver for your graphics card. Very likely, it will cure your freezing problems.
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Message 829086 - Posted: 10 Nov 2008, 22:39:27 UTC

In addition to downloading and installing the latest graphics card driver, there is one other thing that I did that may be related to my having fixed the freezing problem:

Run the Windows "Event Viewer" from within Safe Mode. I found a "snap-in" that was flagged as causing problems. I don't know what the snap-in was, but I had Windows remove the faulty snap-in. Doing so certainly didn't hurt anything, and it may have been part of the freezing problem fix.
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Message 829092 - Posted: 10 Nov 2008, 22:57:37 UTC

For the sake of completeness, the path to the location of the problem that I found via the Event Viewer (in Safe Mode within Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit) was:

Applications and Service Logs folder
Microsoft folder
Windows folder
Kernel-WHEA folder
Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-WHEA
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Message 829379 - Posted: 11 Nov 2008, 22:29:45 UTC

I also am getting freeze up with the auto screensaver so I switched it off via the control panel etc. if I want to see graphics I can always click on graphics but I prefer a wallpaper of Shakira (another heavenly body)
anyway BOINC runs faster without graphics.
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Message 835285 - Posted: 29 Nov 2008, 1:42:32 UTC

I've a Dell Dimension 8400 running Windows XP Home with SP3. I have 4GB ram and the latest driver for my video card. I am weary of the "freeze"/crash of Seti@Home (BOINC) on my machine. I too like to see the pretty colors of the screensaver but I guess I'll just chuck Seti or, if someone can explain how to keep Seti on my computer without running the screensaver in non-geek terms (simple English), I'd be grateful.

Mike Stolting
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Message 835290 - Posted: 29 Nov 2008, 2:07:34 UTC - in response to Message 835285.  
Last modified: 29 Nov 2008, 2:08:49 UTC

I've a Dell Dimension 8400 running Windows XP Home with SP3. I have 4GB ram and the latest driver for my video card. I am weary of the "freeze"/crash of Seti@Home (BOINC) on my machine. I too like to see the pretty colors of the screensaver but I guess I'll just chuck Seti or, if someone can explain how to keep Seti on my computer without running the screensaver in non-geek terms (simple English), I'd be grateful.

Mike Stolting

Hi. There are several possible reasons why the screensaver for Boinc crashes. Hardware or software problems are the ususal cause. I'd suggest though that if the system you're having problems with is this one it is possible changing from the current version of Boinc 5.10.30 to 6.2.19 might help.

Also making sure the inside of the pc is free from dust to avoid over heating issues, as well as making sure your system isn't having errors by running the disk check and windows defrag could help.

You mention you have up to date drivers for the video card, but if it's on board video make sure you have the current drivers from the card maker instead of the standard windows drivers.

It's also true that some pc's just don't respond well to some screensavers and could always be a possibility here.
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Message 835292 - Posted: 29 Nov 2008, 2:36:53 UTC - in response to Message 835290.  

Thanks for the suggestions Byron. I just clicked the link you provided for the latest version of BOINC and installed it. Hopefully it'll solve the problem.

Mike Stolting
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Message 835390 - Posted: 29 Nov 2008, 10:39:19 UTC - in response to Message 835285.  

if someone can explain how to keep Seti on my computer without running the screensaver in non-geek terms (simple English), I'd be grateful.

To disable the screen saver: Right click on any free portion of the desktop, properties, screen saver tab, set screen saver from BOINC to None.

Whenever you next install a new BOINC, make sure to use the Advanced button and uncheck the use BOINC screensaver option, before installing.
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Message 848484 - Posted: 3 Jan 2009, 2:52:13 UTC - in response to Message 835390.  

Unfortunately, even with the latest version of Seti, I'm still experiencing "freezes/crashes". I have my screensaver timer set to start after 7 minutes of inactivity so, when 7 minutes has passed, the screensaver starts again and I'm able to turn it off. This is just too frustrating for me. I am interested in helping to process data so I guess I'll go to the boinc options and see if I can figure out how to allow my processor to crunch seti's data without running the screen saver. Such a pity that there aren't technically savy folks able to figure out what's wrong with the program. I am sure that it's not the fault of anything but the seti program itself. I was running it fine until 6 or so months ago when the freezes began and had done nothing to my computer to alter its behavior. Based on what others are saying, I'd say that Seti (BOINC) need to get themselves a few people who could sort out the problem or more and more of us will be dropping from the ranks of Seti users.

Mike Stolting
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Questions and Answers : Windows : Screensaver Causes My computer to Freeze


 
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